Some Taiwanese employers said yesterday that a diplomatic dispute between Taiwan and the Philippines had not affected their relationships with their Filipino workers.
“They come to work and leave work as normal, and we pay them as we should. I tell them there is nothing to worry about,” said K. R. Lin, owner of a marble factory in Hualien and chairman of the Taiwan Marble Association.
“We are not going to do anything to them. Taiwanese people are moderate in temperament,” added Lin, whose workforce includes Filipinos as well as Indonesians and Thais.
The diplomatic spat was sparked by an attack by a Philippine Coast Guard patrol on a Taiwanese fishing boat on May 9 in which a Taiwanese fisherman was killed.
Lin said the government’s decision to freeze the hiring of Filipino workers in response to the dispute has “disrupted our original plan” to hire more workers from the Philippines, but the overall impact is limited as workers can be recruited from other countries.
Several Filipino workers who were scheduled to arrive at the marble factory next month will not be coming because of the hiring freeze, Lin said, and he is now trying to replace them with workers from Thailand and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Amy Chen, 60, who employs a domestic worker from the Philippines, said her employee is very hardworking. Chen believes the blame for the incident should fall on the Philippine government, not its people.
“I told her, I am angry with your government, but not you,” Chen said.
She said her Filipina employee had been fearful that Taiwanese might vent their anger at her.
“I told her that won’t happen because Taiwanese people are friendly,” Chen said.
Despite the good relationship with her employee, Chen backed the hiring freeze and said it should remain in effect until the Philippine government has apologized for its actions.
Local and Philippine media reports have suggested that Filipino workers in Taiwan have been harassed or discriminated against in recent days and Taiwanese politicians and government agencies have appealed to people not to vent their anger on the estimated 87,000 Filipinos living in the country.